Dyson Farming harvested its first strawberries from the new 15-acre greenhouse in Carrington, Lincolnshire, UK. The 424-meter greenhouse is powered by renewable electricity and excess heat from the anaerobic digester next to Dyson Farming. Currently 6 hectares of strawberries are planted.
The spring season runs from March to May, followed by the second summer influx from June / July and finally the autumn harvest season which runs from October to December.
“The first harvest took place on March 22nd, and everything is going according to schedule,” said Stuart Thompson, Marketing Director at Dyson Farming.
“The weather was cool but sunny. The sun helps keep temperatures high in the greenhouse. We used the heat from the anaerobic digestion of the site (3 MWh) to maintain good temperatures during critical periods (early mornings and days). I slept in hanging gutters, With a 100% coconut substrate. The climate control device tracks and modifies irrigation, humidity, temperature, ventilation, heating, and CO2 dosage. In the UK, we support the advancement of high-tech sustainable agriculture and by expanding into the British season, we avoid unnecessary food miles traveled by strawberries Imported at this time of year. “
The company expects to harvest 330 tons in the spring, 150 tons in the summer and 270 tons in the autumn.
“The 6 hectares of greenhouses built last year were the first phase of the Dyson greenhouse project. We have obtained permission to plan to expand the site and increase the greenhouse area, and we will continue to invest.”
Dyson Farming mainly supplies retailers, but also some local stores and farm markets. Demand is currently strong for fruit in the UK, with tunnels’ harvest delayed this year due to cold weather.
Growing high-quality strawberries on a large scale, sustainable and off-season relies on the expertise and experience of the Dyson Farming team. For the company, it is the next step in producing high-quality UK products, on a commercial scale, leveraging sustainable farming practices and technological innovation.
The climate control information system regulates the temperature in the greenhouse and maintains optimal growing conditions for high-quality crops. Rainwater is collected from the roof of a greenhouse and stored in a basin and used to irrigate the plants. The hanging gutters, which hold the plants, “swing” from side to side to allow 15% more crops to be grown in the same area.
The site also has packaging systems and cold rooms that allow Dyson Farming to harvest, cool, package and deliver the fresh fruit to the end customer as quickly as possible.
The greenhouse will include new technologies during its development, such as automatic harvesting and advanced LED lighting, which can increase the efficiency of the greenhouse and extend the season further.
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